FEDERAL OFFICIALS CHARGE AFRICAN MAN WITH ELDER ROMANCE FRAUD AND GOLD SCAMS
Fake computer love got this man in trouble with the feds.
A federal grand jury in Charlotte indicted Suleman Alhassan, 36, a Ghanaian national residing in Charlotte, NC on wire and mail fraud conspiracy and mail fraud charges, for perpetrating romance and gold scams totaling more than $1,000,000 against older victims. Alhassan was arrested on June 26, 2019.
Federal officials say beginning in or about March 2016, Alhassan and his un-indicted co-conspirators operated a romance scheme based, in part, in Ghana and in Charlotte. Alhassan and his co-conspirators are accused of using fake identities, used online dating websites and other methods to target potential fraud victims, who were frequently elderly, with false promises of a romantic relationship.
As part of the scheme and in addition to developing fake romantic relationships with the victims, Alhassan and others falsely claimed to own large quantities of gold located in Ghana and falsely told victims that the victims needed to send funds via wire transfer services, money orders, and in cash to Alhassan and his co-conspirators to help ship the gold from Ghana to the United States, or to another foreign country, where the gold could be sold, federal officials say.
Alhassan and his co-conspirators falsely told the victims that they would receive a share of the profits when the gold was sold or brought into the United States, allegedly. According to the indictment, Alhassan and his co-conspirators further induced victims to send money under the guise of securing travel documents for the person with whom the victim believed to be in a romantic relationship with.
To induce the victims to send even more money, Alhassand and his co-conspirators allegedly used fictitious problems, including problems with travel visas, customs related issues, etc. The indictment alleges that Alhassan and his co-conspirators continued to call, text, and e-mail the victims and insist that additional payments be made for new fees, until the victims either ran out of money or discovered the fraudulent nature of the scheme.
According to the investigation the total loss associated with the scheme is more than $1,000,000.